Kathy has lived in Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley for 45 years, where she raised her only son. Her professional life has been diverse, but always with an eye on children. Working in the ’70s at a family crisis center, owning and operating the Short Short toy stores in Aspen, Snowmass, and at the Broadmoor Hotel in the ’80s, founding the Aspen Education Foundation in the early ’90s, she has always loved working with kids, or on their behalf.
In the mid-’90s, she returned to graduate school at the University of Colorado-Denver, and completed a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology, focusing on children and families. Since then, she has had a private practice locally and has worked privately and within the local public schools and programs providing special groups for struggling kids. In 1999, and for ten years, she was hired by the University of Colorado-Denver as an adjunct professor to teach child and family counseling courses in the Master’s level program.
In 2010-12, she was involved with Goldie Hawn’s program, MindUP, as a volunteer program developer, trainer, and interim Director for the U.S. program. In 2013, she decided to re-focus her attention on the Roaring Fork Valley and developed a program called FocusedKids™ to teach preschoolers basic executive function skills. She piloted FocusedKids in the Valley Settlement Project’s mobile preschool, El Busesito, serving a low-income immigrant population. With success there, FocusedKids™ has now expanded to include grades k-5 in elementary schools from Aspen to Rifle, Colorado, and Arizona. Teachers and parents participate so that the skills learned can be reinforced at home and in the classroom. Using puppets and simple calming and focusing lessons, kids learn about their brains and how to self-regulate and focus their attention. The goal is to positively affect early brain architecture by teaching age-appropriate skills that support healthy life outcomes.
She recently transitioned from the position of Executive Director and now serves on the board of FocusedKids.
She is happily married, has a wonderful son, daughter-in-law, two granddaughters, and a wonderful labrador retriever, and loves to hike, bike, kayak, and read.